Mrs. Jeffries and her diverse Victorian team shine again in an entry that poses an especially complex puzzle.

MRS. JEFFRIES DEMANDS JUSTICE

A police detective accused of murder is so unpopular that even his colleagues think he did it.

Bert Santorini is found shot in a Whitechapel alley. At his side is an expensive dueling pistol soon identified as the property of Inspector Nigel Nivens, a well-connected but thoroughly dishonest cop. When a newspaper story claims that the police are covering for Nivens, Scotland Yard calls in Inspector Gerald Witherspoon, who’s solved many murders and has an impeccable reputation for honesty. Few know that Witherspoon’s success rate is due to his clever housekeeper, Mrs. Jeffries; his household staff; and some friends and neighbors, all of whom have contacts in many levels of society. Although none are fans of Nivens, who’s tangled with Witherspoon in the past, they’re so dedicated to justice that they set to work once more to uncover the truth. Santorini had an ice delivery business but was well known for being a snout who testified at a trial that sent three of the O'Dwyer brothers to jail, leaving their mother in a vengeful mood. Since Santorini also had entanglements with several women, there’s no dearth of suspects for Mrs. Jeffries’ team to explore. Even after he discovers that Nivens is meddling in the case and has continued to lie, Witherspoon still doesn’t think him a killer. But time is running out to discover the truth.

Mrs. Jeffries and her diverse Victorian team shine again in an entry that poses an especially complex puzzle.

Pub Date: Jan. 26, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-10106-3

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Berkley

Review Posted Online: Oct. 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2020

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A top-class cozy infused with dry wit and charming characters who draw you in and leave you wanting more, please.

THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB

Four residents of Coopers Chase, a British retirement village, compete with the police to solve a murder in this debut novel.

The Thursday Murder Club started out with a group of septuagenarians working on old murder cases culled from the files of club founder Elizabeth’s friend Penny Gray, a former police officer who's now comatose in the village's nursing home. Elizabeth used to have an unspecified job, possibly as a spy, that has left her with a large network of helpful sources. Joyce is a former nurse who chronicles their deeds. Psychiatrist Ibrahim Arif and well-known political firebrand Ron Ritchie complete the group. They charm Police Constable Donna De Freitas, who, visiting to give a talk on safety at Coopers Chase, finds the residents sharp as tacks. Built with drug money on the grounds of a convent, Coopers Chase is a high-end development conceived by loathsome Ian Ventham and maintained by dangerous crook Tony Curran, who’s about to be fired and replaced with wary but willing Bogdan Jankowski. Ventham has big plans for the future—as soon as he’s removed the nuns' bodies from the cemetery. When Curran is murdered, DCI Chris Hudson gets the case, but Elizabeth uses her influence to get the ambitious De Freitas included, giving the Thursday Club a police source. What follows is a fascinating primer in detection as British TV personality Osman allows the members to use their diverse skills to solve a series of interconnected crimes.

A top-class cozy infused with dry wit and charming characters who draw you in and leave you wanting more, please.

Pub Date: Sept. 22, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-98-488096-3

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Pamela Dorman/Viking

Review Posted Online: July 1, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2020

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Proficient but eminently predictable. Amid all the time shifts and embedded backstories, the most surprising feature is how...

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THE A LIST

A convicted killer’s list of five people he wants dead runs the gamut from the wife he’s already had murdered to franchise heroine Ali Reynolds.

Back in the day, women came from all over to consult Santa Clarita fertility specialist Dr. Edward Gilchrist. Many of them left his care happily pregnant, never dreaming that the father of the babies they carried was none other than the physician himself, who donated his own sperm rather than that of the handsome, athletic, disease-free men pictured in his scrapbook. When Alexandra Munsey’s son, Evan, is laid low by the kidney disease he’s inherited from his biological father and she returns to Gilchrist in search of the donor’s medical records, the roof begins to fall in on him. By the time it’s done falling, he’s serving a life sentence in Folsom Prison for commissioning the death of his wife, Dawn, the former nurse and sometime egg donor who’d turned on him. With nothing left to lose, Gilchrist tattoos himself with the initials of five people he blames for his fall: Dawn; Leo Manuel Aurelio, the hit man he’d hired to dispose of her; Kaitlyn Todd, the nurse/receptionist who took Dawn’s place; Alex Munsey, whose search for records upset his apple cart; and Ali Reynolds, the TV reporter who’d helped put Alex in touch with the dozen other women who formed the Progeny Project because their children looked just like hers. No matter that Ali’s been out of both California and the news business for years; Gilchrist and his enablers know that revenge can’t possibly be served too cold. Wonder how far down that list they’ll get before Ali, aided once more by Frigg, the methodical but loose-cannon AI first introduced in Duel to the Death (2018), turns on them?

Proficient but eminently predictable. Amid all the time shifts and embedded backstories, the most surprising feature is how little the boundary-challenged AI, who gets into the case more or less inadvertently, differs from your standard human sidekick with issues.

Pub Date: April 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5011-5101-9

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 19, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2019

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